Poor Quality of Investigation in India

Context- This article discusses the issue of poor quality of investigation in India. It also highlights
the status of implementation of reforms such as the separation of investigative functions.

  • The supreme Court of India, recently, in Rajesh & Anr. Vs The State of Madhya Pradesh,
    emphasised the need to devise ‘a consistent and dependable code of investigation’ so
    that the guilty do not walk free on technicalities.
  • The Court also mentioned the poor standard of police investigation and the principal
    causes of a low rate of conviction due to inept and unscientific investigation by the
    What are the various official observations regarding the quality of police investigation?
  • Malimath Committee: It recommended that the investigation wing should be separate
    from that of the law-and-order wing.
  • Law Commission’s Report number 239: observed that ‘the police stations are
    understaffed’, ‘sufficient priority is not given for investigation of crime’ and that ‘there is
    no periodic exercise to upgrade the skills of investigation’.
  • Prakash Singh Case (2006): Out of the 7 directives by the Supreme Court, one pertained
    to a separation of investigation from law and order to ensure quicker investigation,
    better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
    What has been the response of the States in implementing these recommendations?
  • According to Prakash Singh (Retd IPS), only 17 states have taken measures to separate
    the investigative and law and order functions of the police.
  • When it came to the overall 7 directives, only 9 States fell under the ‘good and
    satisfactory’ category.
    What should be done?
  • Sanctioning of additional manpower: Investigating officers are not only inadequate in
    number but are also unable to upgrade their skills because there is a shortage of
  • Ensuring compliance: The Supreme Court needs to step forward and ask every State and
    Union Territory to report compliance of its directives on investigation.
  • Consistency in rulings: There must be consistency in court rulings regarding Indian
    Evidence Act.